Melyssa Mantell Life Prep@Naz

Join us as we visit Nazareth College to deliver a Golden Apple Award. Melissa Mantell teaches a unique program for young adults with disabilities. And one of her students asked us to say thank you.

A couple years ago the Victor School District realized there was a gap in services for young adults with developmental disabilities. These are students hungry to learn, but older than high school kids, and they don't feel comfortable going to school with them. The solution: Life Prep@Naz, a partnership with Nazareth College and ARC of Monroe. The perfect Teacher? Melyssa Mantell.

Melanie McGuire is Director of Special Education for Victor Central Schools and School Administrator for Life Prep at Naz. "Melyssa gets what our students need to learn, to be able to be successful as adults. She's passionate about them having skills to find work, be independent, successful and serve the community."

Colleen McMaster is one of the 20 students from several local school districts that attend Life Prep at Naz. She wrote us to nominate her Melyssa. "She is the best teacher in the world. She teaches us life skills and what we need to know to take care of ourselves on our own since we have disabilities. She's really supportive when you need her. Without her support I wouldn't be the person I am today."

I had to meet the best teacher in the world.   We walked in as Melyssa was teaching and yelled surprise!

What does it mean to her that a student like Colleen would write and ask us to say thank you? "That means the world to me. And it honestly, in my heart, shows they're learning. In order to do something that independent and to be that inspired, it means the world to me. It really means this program is working, especially for Colleen."

Melyssa Mantell is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner.  You can read the letter we received from Colleen below.

Dear News 8,

She is the best teacher in the world. She teaches us life skills of what we need to know to take care of ourselves on our own since we have a disability.. It is a great program, its called Life Prep at Naz.
  She teaches in a fun way I have learned how to do my own laundry how to balance a debit card and how to make change. She even has supported me when I needed the help through the tuff times.
  She is the most sweetest person you have ever met. You would be dumb to not give this award to her.  This is her second time teaching. Whenever we are learning something new she always says I live under a rock because we have to try to come up with ideas on our own first. She really deserves this, trust me .


Colleen McMaster

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